Urgent Interventions

Alleged abduction and enforced disappearance of Mr. Idris Khattak

PAK 003 / 1119 / OBS 096

Abduction /
Alleged enforced disappearance


November 21, 2019

The Observatory for the Protection ofHuman Rights Defenders, a partnership of FIDH and the World OrganisationAgainst Torture (OMCT), requests your urgent intervention in the followingsituation in Pakistan.

Description of thesituation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Human Rights Commission ofPakistan (HRCP) about the alleged abduction and suspected enforced disappearanceof Mr. Idris Khattak, an independent researcher who is documenting humanrights violationsfaced by people in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province and the former FederallyAdministered Tribal Areas. Mr.Khattak is also a former consultant of Amnesty International and Human RightsWatch, and current worker of the National Party.

Accordingto the information received, on November 13, 2019, four unidentified men inplain clothes stopped Mr. Idris Khattak’s car as he was on his wayfrom Akora Khattak village to Swabi, at Swabi Motorway Interchange,Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province, and abducted Mr. Idris Khattak. At the time ofpublication of this Urgent Appeal, Mr. Khattak’s fate and whereabouts remainedunknown.

Mr. Khattak’s familyand Mr. Shahsawar, Mr. Khattak’s driver at the time of the abduction, filedcomplaints at the Anbar police station.

However, theObservatory is deeply concerned by the fact that the authorities have not yetresponded to Mr. Khattak’s abduction, which seems to indicate a lack of willingnesson their part to investigate the abduction and may amount to acquiescence tothe crime[1]that has been allegedly committed.

The Observatory fearsthat Mr. Khattak may be subject to acts of torture or ill-treatment, assuffered by other victims of enforced disappearance in Pakistan[2].The Observatory is also concerned that Mr. Khattak suffers from diabetes andneeds daily medication.

The Observatory strongly condemns the suspectedabduction and enforced disappearance of Mr. Idris Khattak and calls on thePakistani authorities to immediately take steps to determine his fate andwhereabouts, and to carry out a transparent, impartial, immediate and thoroughinvestigation into the above-mentioned abduction in order to identify all thoseresponsible, bring them before an independent tribunal, and sanction them asprovided by the law.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities in Pakistan, urging them to:

i. Guarantee, in all circumstances, the physical integrity andpsychological well-being of Mr. Idris Khattak and that of all human rightsdefenders in Pakistan;

ii. Immediately and unconditionally take steps to determine Mr. IdrisKhattak’s fate and whereabouts and, once he has been located, give him fullaccess to his family, legal counsel and medical attention;

iii. Carry out a transparent, impartial, immediate and thoroughinvestigation into the above-mentioned abduction and enforced disappearance inorder to identify all those responsible, bring them before an independenttribunal, and sanction them as provided by the law;

iv. Put an end to all acts of harassment, including at the judiciallevel, against all human rights defenders in Pakistan, and ensure that they areable to carry out their legitimate activities without any hindrance and fear ofreprisals in all circumstances;

v. Conform to the provisions of the UN Declaration on Human RightsDefenders, adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on December 9,1998, in particular with Articles 1 and 12.2;

vi. Ensure in all circumstances respect for human rights and fundamentalfreedoms in accordance with international human rights standards andinternational instruments ratified by Pakistan.


· Mr. Arif Alvi, President ofPakistan; Fax: +92 51 920 8479; Email:

· Mr. Imran Khan, PrimeMinister of Pakistan, Minister in Charge for Interior and Narcotics Control;Fax: +92 51 922 04 04; Email:

· Mr. Ijaz Shah, Minister ofState for Interior, Fax: +92 51 920 2624, Email:

· Ambassador Farukh Amil,Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; Fax:022734 80 85; Email:

Please also write to thediplomatic mission or embassy of Pakistan located in your country.


Paris-Geneva, November 21, 2019

Kindly inform us of any action undertakenquoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory for theProtection of Human Rights Defenders (the Observatory) was created in 1997 byFIDH and the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT). The objective of thisprogramme is to prevent or remedy situations of repression against human rightsdefenders. FIDH and OMCT are both members of, the European Union Human Rights Defenders Mechanism implemented byinternational civil society.

[1] UnderArticle 2 of the International Convention for the Protection of all Personsfrom Enforced Disappearance, “enforced disappearance” is considered to be thearrest, detention, abduction or any other form of deprivation of liberty byagents of the State or by persons or groups of persons acting with theauthorization, support or acquiescence of the State, followed by a refusal toacknowledge the deprivation of liberty or by concealment of the fate orwhereabouts of the disappeared person, which place such a person outside theprotection of the law.”

[2] Asof June 30, 2019, Pakistan government’s Commission of Inquiry on EnforcedDisappearance has registered 2,122 unresolved cases. See: @font-face { font-family: "MS Mincho";}@font-face { font-family: "Cambria Math";}@font-face { font-family: OpenSymbol;}@font-face { font-family: "@MS Mincho";}p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }p.MsoFootnoteText, li.MsoFootnoteText, div.MsoFootnoteText { margin: 0cm 0cm 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }span.MsoFootnoteReference { vertical-align: super; }a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed { color: rgb(149, 79, 114); text-decoration: underline; }p { margin: 14pt 0cm; font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman", serif; }span.Caractresdenotedebasdepage { vertical-align: super; }span.Appelnotedebasdep9 { vertical-align: super; }span.NotedebasdepageCar { }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; }div.WordSection1 { }ol { margin-bottom: 0cm; }ul { margin-bottom: 0cm; }